• Meghan Lyda

ILMEA Cello Audition Guide: Audition Basics

Updated: Jul 24, 2020


This blog series will help you prepare for the 2020 District 1 Junior ILMEA cello audition. We’ll cover what you need to know about each excerpt one at a time, and end by covering the audition scales.

In each part of this guide, we’ll list tips and tricks to make the excerpts easier for you to play, and to make sure the musical meaning comes across to the listener.

Here’s an outline of the series:

  • Part 1: Intro to the series and audition basics

  • Part 2: Grieg - Hall of the Mountain King

  • Part 3: Mosier - Waltz of the Wicked

  • Part 4: Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No. 2

  • Part 5: Stravinsky - Round Dance

  • Part 6: Scales

Now, onto discussing audition basics!

What’s an audition?

Auditions are a chance for you to show off your skills! If you demonstrate that you have all the necessary skills, you could be selected for a place in the ensemble (in this case, the ILMEA Junior Concert Festival Orchestra.)

What is an orchestral excerpt?

An orchestral excerpt is a short section of music for one instrument taken from an orchestral piece.

Why do we play them in auditions?

Audition excerpts allow you to show off a wide range of skills in a short amount of time. Each excerpt is chosen because it presents a different mood, character, and sound, and therefore showcases a different skillset. Think of yourself as an actor quickly switching from one character to the next.

I’m looking forward to going on this ILMEA audition journey with you!

For more information about the ILMEA festival and audition, visit

Next time we’ll be learning how to play the first excerpt, which is from Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King.

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